At King Law Offices, our qualified, knowledgeable family law appellate attorneys can determine if an appeal is reasonable. Because North Carolina family court judges are given broad discretion in certain situations, the court’s decision is hard to overturn – no matter how much you disagree with it. In addition, the proceedings may take a year or more, and can be costly. If you are considering an appeal, you must seek help quickly.
Reasons to Appeal a Decision Made in Family Court
Usually, appeals to Family Court decisions revolve around the following:
- Attorney’s Fee Awards
- Grounds for Divorce
- Equitable Distribution
- Property Distribution
- Child Custody
- Termination of Parental Rights/Adoption
- Child Support Calculations
- Contempt of Court Sanctions
- Debt Allocation
- DSS Findings of Abuse & Neglect
- Review of Prenuptial Agreements
Steps to Filing an Appeal in a North Carolina Family Court
An appeal of your family court decision begins with a Notice of Appeal. This document must be filed with the North Carolina Court of Appeals within 30 days of receipt of the trial court’s final order. An exception to filing with the North Carolina Court of Appeals is when appealing a termination of parental rights. In this situation, the notice is filed directly with the North Carolina Supreme Court.
After the Notice of Appeal, the Record on Appeal must be compiled and submitted to the court. Our attorneys will also file a brief that discusses your legal arguments as to why you believe the lower court decision was incorrect.
The Role of the Court of Appeals
Once both parties have submitted their legal documents, a three-judge panel will review the record and arguments. It’s important to realize that family court appeals do not have an oral argument where your attorney presents your case in-person. Instead, the court will likely base its ruling on the written record. Thus, it is vital that the written argument be airtight. Our team of family law appeal attorneys have extensive proficiency in this area.
Rather than making a new ruling in your case, the appeals court will review the record and arguments to determine if the court made a mistake or abused its discretion. Should the panel find reversible errors, the lower court decision is overturned. Your case is then sent back to the district court to be re-determined in light of the ruling of the appeals court.
Because the appeals court does not consider “new evidence,” it is essential that your attorney presents all the relevant evidence and makes every important argument when necessary. That is why having competent counsel at every stage of your family court matter is essential.
Contact Experienced Attorneys for Family Law Appeals
Few matters are more stressful than issues involving your family. Whether you are concerned the court wrongly decided marital property distribution or child custody and support, you may be struggling with what to do next. If you’re considering whether or not a family law appeal is right for you, contact our experienced team of family law attorneys with King Law Offices at (888) 748-KING (5464) or contact us.